Two school caretakers are successfully saving a Southampton school thousands of pounds due to their water efficient initiative.
Mike Cave and Kevin Winkworth noticed that St Anne’s Catholic School was using a substantial amount of water in the main toilet block which houses almost 30 toilet cubicles and sinks.
Their solution was to install a sensor in the main block of toilets so that when they are not being used, the water mains are switched off. Any running taps, dripping ball valves and leaky pipes are completely cut off, which to date has saved the school more than £1,000.
The sensor saved the school 210,000 litres of water between June and November 2012. It turns on the entire block’s water supply when someone enters and switches it back off again ten seconds after it recognises that the last person has exited the block.
Site Manager, Mike Cave said, “The idea came to us while mopping up the water from a blocked sink that had recently overflowed. Being a plumber by trade, I had my water efficiency hat on and thought that installing a sensor that recognises when the toilet block is occupied would work well because there wouldn’t be anyone in the entire building half the time.
“We’re currently planning to install more sensors throughout the rest of the school, where there are 16 cubicles and sinks, so we’ll be even more water efficient!”
Mike and Kevin are hoping for an outside investor to back their idea, which could save a substantial amount of water and money.
“With my plumbing knowledge and Kevin’s electrical background, we were able to install the device for a little over £100. The sensor would prove beneficial to any building with a vast amount of public toilets, so schools and office blocks would notice the savings almost immediately.”
Southern Water are currently installing water meters across Hampshire in a five-year programme, where 500,000 meters will be installed across the South East. Installations began in late 2010, with more than 60,000 new meters installed across the county to date.
You can find out more about the programme and how it is helping secure future water resources by visiting www.southernwater.co.uk/metering or calling the dedicated Metering Customer Call Centre on 0333 2003 012.